Working efficiently with a freelancer

I've been working as a freelance copy editor and writer since 2014. During this time, I consider myself fortuante enough to work with both authors and businesses. Having variety and my desire to help others were two factors which led me to set up D. Burton Editing.
Over the three years I've been working as a freelancer, I've been able to create positive relationships with my customers. Here's how you can find the freelancer who is a perfect fit for your business.

The importance of a good brief

Your relationship with any freelancer starts with the brief. It's important to be as clear and as detailed as possible so that they understand exactly what you need and whether they are the right person for the job.
Whether it's writing an information guide or designing a website, letting your freelancer know every little detail will ensure that there is no misunderstanding about the work that's required.
Some important aspects to include in your brief are:
  • The purpose of the work - what do you hope to achieve from it?
  • Some information about your business
  • Some general thoughts and ideas - i.e. how do you want your website to look?
  • Your budget
  • Deadline (more on this below)

Time is money... literally

As many freelancers opt to charge per hour, understanding how long your project will take is vital for your budget and for finding the right freelancer.
We freelancers love a deadline. One question we often ask is, "When do you need this finished by?"


Be crystal clear about your deadline, even if you only have a rough idea about when you'd like your work completed. A couple of weeks is a much better deadline than ASAP.
Giving your freelancer a deadline also allows them to organise the other jobs they may have on at the same time and decide if they can indeed do what you're asking them.

Get to know them - four questions to ask your freelancer

Of course, you want to make sure you're getting the right freelancer for the job, just like you would an employee. Don't be afraid to ask questions, such as:
  • What was the most recent project you've completed or client you've had?
  • How/why did you become a freelancer?
  • Have you got any other experience in this field?
  • Can you show me some examples or a sample of your work?
These are just some of the many questions that you can ask your prospective freelancer. Draw up a shortlist with your team and even consider setting up a meeting with the freelancers on that shortlist to get to know them even better.

Want to work together?

Working with a freelancer can help you to keep on top of the other aspects of your business and ensures you can cope with demand. Find out about my copy editing and social media services, or email for details and a free profile about your business.

Daniel Burton